Oilers say they’re very close to hiring new head coach


Rumors are swirling about the Edmonton Oilers hiring Dallas Eakins, but it appears that announcement won’t come until later.

During the press conference to announce the firing of Ralph Krueger, new Oilers GM Craig MacTavish admitted that the team is “very close” to signing an unnamed candidate, but not enough to announce a deal.

Considering the fact that Oilers are about to hire their fourth coach in five years, it’s probably worthwhile to ask if Eakins or some other coach will get the chance to choose his assistant and associate coaches. MacTavish was coy about that.

“I’m hopeful that our current staff will be retained but it will be up to the new coach,” MacTavish said.

TSN’s Darren Dreger ranks among the media members who expect Eakins to be announced as the team’s newest bench boss sometime next week.

If it comes to pass, it will present a fascinating scenario: arguably the most-hyped young head coaching prospect would guide one of the most-hyped groups of young players in the NHL.

Here’s a Getty Images shot of Eakins, in case you want to size up the (potentially soon-to-be former) head coach of the Toronto Marlies:

source: Getty Images

Jason Demers tweets #FreeTorres, gets mocked

Los Angeles Kings v San Jose Sharks - Game One

Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.

We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.

It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”

Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)

Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.

So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”

… You get the idea.

The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.

The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.

Bruins list Chara on IR, for now

Zdeno Chara

Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.

It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.

The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.

As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.

Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?

The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.

This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.